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U.S. women's water polo team finishes sweep

Anae ends game in goal as American women win final exhibition game before London.

July 08, 2012|By Matt Szabo
(Kent Treptow )

CORONA DEL MAR — Tumua Anae is often seen as reserved, a calming influence on the United States women's water polo Olympic team.

Still, do not think for a second that she isn't extremely thrilled to be representing her country in her first Olympic Games. To some extent, she also represented her high school during Sunday afternoon's exhibition game against Hungary.

She received a nice ovation from the crowd at her alma mater, Corona del Mar High, when she came into the game in goal midway through the fourth quarter. And after the game, her eyes began to tear up when she talked about playing again in the CdM pool.

"It's great for me to have my family here, to play at home and to be going to the Olympics," Anae said before getting a bit choked up. "It's just really exciting. It just means a lot to be home."

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Anae won CIF swimming and girls' water polo titles at CdM before graduating in 2006, and the 2010 national women's water polo championship as a senior at USC. She said her mother, Annabel, and older sister, Jordan, were there to watch Sunday's action, along with a lot of her extended family and plenty of CdM and USC friends.

The Anaes, along with the rest of the near-capacity crowd estimated at 1,000, saw yet another United States win.

Team USA swept the week's four-game exhibition series with Hungary after winning Sunday's match, 9-4. It was the last game action for top-ranked Team USA before the London Olympics, which begin for the Americans in group play against Hungary on July 30.

U.S. Coach Adam Krikorian still has a firm grasp on the big picture. He said about a year ago, team member Kelly Rulon bought her teammates the book by Duke and U.S. Olympic men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, "The Gold Standard: Building a World-Class Team."

Krikorian said "Coach K" also will talk to his team this week. The American water polo women are flying to Las Vegas on Monday night, and while there they will meet with Krzyzewski and watch the U.S. men's basketball team practice.

As for the exhibition sweep against Hungary, Krikorian again is looking big picture.

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